The New York Guyana Democracy Project (NYGDP) in a public statement praised Prime Minister of Barbados and former Chair of Caricom, Hon Mia Mottley, and PM Ralph Gonsalves for the principled stance taken in support of democracy and free and fair elections in Guyana, and condemned attacks on them and the Caricom recount team. NYGDP is led by Dr Tara Singh, former senior lecturer of UG.
The organisation expressed gratitude to and thanked PM Mottley for her unwavering support of the democratic process in Guyana and called on the Government of Guyana to accept the will of the electorate as displayed in the Statements of Poll and Statements of Recount as monitored by a high-level Caricom team approved by President Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. “The entire Caricom body for the first time in its history took a united, decisive stand against electoral fraud in Guyana, and for this, we commend the body and condemn fraud”.
NYGDP commended the professionalism of the three-member high-level Caricom monitoring team, stating that it did a fantastic job in scrutinising the official recount which showed that the PPP won the election by a margin of 15,416 votes. The release notes that the Caricom team stated, “It is our unshakeable position that the recount is an accurate reflection of the intention of voters, and that it constitutes the basis for an official declaration of the outcome of the election”.
As to assertions that there were dead or impersonation of voters who migrated, the NYGDP release pointed out that the Caricom team said such “allegations were a fishing expedition and that the catch would have been extremely small”, to impact the results.
NYGDP praised the high-level team for its professionalism in the execution of a very difficult task. “Because the recount shows that the PPP won the election, as indeed the original SoPs showed, the team, as well as PM Mottley and new Caricom Chair, Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent, have come in for unwarranted attacks for their integrity and professionalism”, the release stated.
The NYGDP criticised the coalition for unjustified and unwarranted attacks on PMs Mottley, Gonsalves, and the Caricom team. “Attacks have been the modus operandi of elements of the coalition. Elements of the regime are bent on rigging if they feel their party can’t win through the expressed will of voters”.
The Guyana Democratic Project said it fully supports the professionalism and integrity of the Caricom team, stateswomanship of Mia Mottley, and the strong statements of Dr Gonsalves against electoral fraud. “The appalling abuse of the election count was soundly and appropriately condemned by Caricom”, said NYGDP.
The NYGDP also apologised to Caricom and the two PMs for the unwarranted attacks they suffered for supporting democracy. Its release says that those who unduly criticise Caricom and the PMs are a small minority who were involved in rigging. “They don’t represent the voice of decent, overwhelming majority of people of Guyana”.
The release notes that the team and the Prime Ministers were not influenced by racial appeals in the recount process and were at all times guided by professionalism. NYGDP reposed confidence in the new Caricom Chair, Dr Gonsalves, saying, “He will carry out his duties in the tradition of Mia Mottley and will be a stout defender of democracy including free and fair elections”.
The release also points out that there is one rogue state in the neighbourhood in the form of Venezuela. “The West will not tolerate another rogue state. In this context, we urge President Granger to concede defeat and allow the swearing-in of President-elect, Dr Irfaan Ali to avoid the hardship that will follow if the caretaker regime continues to defy the international community with a fraudulent declaration. There is no end game other than to concede defeat”.
The NYGDP said it eagerly awaits the ruling of the CCJ on some constitutional matters that would in no way alter the results of the recount.
The release concludes: “Once again, thank you Honourable Mottley, Caricom high-level team, and new Caricom Chair. Caricom’s action regarding the Guyana election reveals that it has a bright future”.
Dr Vishnu Bisram